Roh names transition team leader

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Roh names transition team leader

President-elect Roh Moo-hyun yesterday named a member of the National Assembly, Lim Chae-jung, to head his transition team. The group will have 25 members and is expected to be organized today, according to Lee Nak-yon, the president-elect spokesman. He said the committee would get down to work after the New Year holiday.

Mr. Lim, a former journalist, has served as the head of party's policy committee and was in charge of devising and organizing Mr. Roh's campaign pledges. He was the originator of Mr. Roh's promise to move the administrative capital to the Chungcheong region, a promise that became an important part of the electioneering. Mr. Lee, the spokesman, called Mr. Lim well informed on policy issues and a well-balanced reformer.

Mr. Roh has said he wants the committee to work on a policy agenda rather than taking over day-to-day administrative duties. Mr. Lee said the committee will look closely at alternatives to government policies that he thinks are ineffective or wrong-minded. The intent, Mr. Lee said, is to avoid an administrative vacuum after Mr. Roh's inauguration on Feb. 25 so the bureaucracy can get its new marching orders quickly and work consistently toward those goals during Mr. Roh's term of office.

Most of the subgroups in the committee will be headed by persons other than politicians, the spokesman said. Mr. Roh reportedly wants members of his party to focus on efforts to overhaul the party mechanisms and structure.

The Millennium Democrats, Mr. Roh's party, is still in turmoil. Long dominated by politicians personally loyal to Kim Dae-jung, the party's founder, the MDP is now in the midst of a power struggle. A moderate but reform-minded group has increased its calls for a change in the party's leadership.

Decisions on the new shape of the party and on party members' wish lists for the new administration may well take shape at a two-day meeting of the party's election committee that begins today. Another party faction is more aggressive, calling for the resignation of the party's entire leadership team and the dissolution of the MDP to form a new party, presumably to sever any links to the scandals that have beset the Kim Dae-jung administration.

by Koh Han-sun

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